Remember that time during boxing's irrelevance and the UFC's peak popularity years from about 2009-2011? That was around the same time fans and media outlets from both combat sports worlds started feeding into one of the most useless rivalries since the East coast/West coast rap beef in the late 90s. Every lousy boxing event was panned by the media and gave them an excuse to declare boxing's untimely death. It also gave way to countless boxing writers jumping ship for the UFC and mixed martial arts. This dumb war waged on and prompted several attempts by the more reasonable, learned, and non-brain dead elements in our society to put this senseless battle into proper context.
Some failed, some prevailed, but we know that time heals all self inflicted wounds like when you see guys shoot themselves with staple guns or allow their friends to strap firecrackers to their crotches and light them on fire. Soon the cries and hunger for battle began to subside and fans and media personalities from boxing and mma started to cross over that once forbidden bridge of unity.
Today, whenever I read boxing related stories on Bloody Elbow or any other mixed martial arts website I'm hard pressed to find any hostility for the sweet science. Same goes for Bad Left Hook, Ringtv.com, or BoxingScene; fans of the noble art no longer feel threatened by the rise of mixed martial arts. Boxing came before mma, but that doesn't mean boxing has to die off in order for mma to thrive, and mma doesn't have to be a trend sport in order for boxing to bounce back in a gradual, but meaningful way.
Boxing through all its missteps and fumbles, has experienced a modest but promising period of sustainable incline since it's decline year of 2009. One of those signs that's proving positive for boxing is the success of big fight events that don't include Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather.
The biggest PPV fight so far this year has been the highly anticipated bout between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and undisputed middleweight champion Sergio Martinez. That fight met all the expectations laid out during the build up. We also have a new star in the making with WBC lightweight champion Adrien Broner who is becoming a secure million plus viewing attraction on HBO.
Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez will meet for the fourth and presumably final time on December 8th. That same night will also have a free UFC card on network television. No one loses because what promoters in both worlds realize is that fans of both combat sports, for whatever reason be it genuine interest or curiosity will likely find a way to watch both events. Even way no one loses money, credibility, or sleep knowing both events will be held on the same night.
Dana White and Bob Arum still collect a majority share of the money when it's all said and done.
I also believe the Zuffa deal with Fox played a role in CBS and NBC having an interest in boxing again. As a result boxing is back on network television for the first time in God only knows how long.